Part One - "The Hours They Bring Me Pain"
Chapter 1 - "My, My, I'm So Happy"
With a graceful sweep of her hand, Mother put her signature on the last of the documents. She and Father had made sure to read the fine print. They were careful like that.
These documents were like gold to us. Mother, Father and I were so very tired of traveling. We had lived like nomads for the past year or so, looking for a suitable place to stay. Finally, we had come across the quaint little town known as Vulpe Village. As we wandered through it, we saw there was a humble little residence situated near the town center. It was vacant and very affordable. We had enough money to afford the down payment (though I like to refer to it as a happy payment, since I find no sadness in it) and still had some left over to get ourselves started. What joy was in our hearts on that day, the day we found a home!
We are, to put it bluntly, bird people. We do have human characteristics, but we are quite different in many ways. Mother, Father and I are a deep shade of orange. We once met with a desert nomad and he called us the “Tangerines”. We have beak-like noses, eagle eyes, winged arms, feathery hair, and talons on our hands and feet. My Mother and I have long, black hair, but my Father has short brown hair. I take more after Mother. She is the picture of grace, and I am likewise.
As we stood in the mayor’s office, he personally welcomed us to Vulpe Village. He told us that in the past, foxes used to roam the streets, and they decided to call the town Vulpe Village in honour of those beautiful creatures. I personally love foxes, but have not seen many in my life. I’ve only seen them at a distance. They always slink away, the sly devils that they are.
Later that day we moved into the small house. It was so empty that our voices echoed wherever we were. It was like standing within a valley or a canyon. We did not have many belongings, and because of that, we could not kill the echo. I found it rather neat, but I could see the silent frustration on my parent’s faces. I never understood why they felt like that. Maybe they felt bad that they couldn’t give me much. But I didn’t need much. I was a simple child.
We went for a walk around the town, looking to meet fellow residents. First, we met Mrs. Robinson. She was a tall lady, with long legs, a flat belly and a large bosom. Her face was plastered with bright colours. She looked like a rainbow, and she smelled faintly of one too. When she saw us she almost jumped out of her makeup.
“I’ve never met bird people before.” She said in her low, sultry voice. “I didn’t think they existed.”
Next, we met a nice gentleman named Mr. Darcy. He took a great liking to us immediately, especially Mother.
“Good day, fine avian lady,” he said, and gave Mother a kiss on her hand, “what brings you and your family to our town?”
“We just moved in,” Mother said with a blush, “We’re glad to finally be able to settle down again.”
“Ah yes, nothing quite like having a proper home sweet home. Perhaps I shall visit sometime.” He replied. “I must really be going though, or I shall be late for my afternoon tea. Good day.” And with a flourish and a bow, he was off.
“What a nice man,” said Mother. Father gave her a withered look. I could see he was jealous. Something to do with males, my Mother told me once.
The final person we met before we returned to the house was a man named Dr. Do-much.
“Fascinating! Fascinating!” He cried when he saw us.
“What is so fascinating?” I asked.
“You! I’ve never seen such interesting creatures! You really must come to my place for tea. I must get to know you better.” He replied.
“We’d love to, but maybe another time. We have to get back to our house and finish…things.” said Father. Dr. Do-much was quite overbearing. We hastened back to our new house. We would meet new people tomorrow.
When we got home, Mother made her famous vegetable stew. I don’t know why it was famous, but it truly was delicious. Shortly afterwards, tired and full of stew, we drifted off to our respective rooms. I stared up at the white ceiling for a while, painting landscapes of rainbows and cloud castles. Finally, when my masterpiece was finished, I drifted off into a contented sleep, feeling like Michelangelo must have after painting the Sistine Chapel.